Robert Hooke (1635-1703) was a multi-talented artist, scientist, engineer, architect, and inventor. His crowning achievement was Micrographia, or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses. This book, first published 1665, is an exquisitely illustrated introduction to the previously unknown microscopic world, and is considered a masterpiece.
In August, the History of Medicine Division (HMD) opened a new exhibit inspired by Hooke’s great work: Hooke’s Books: Books that Influenced or Were Influenced by Robert Hooke’s Micrographia.
The exhibit focuses on Hooke’s influences and legacy in print, the pioneering books that stimulated Hooke’s research, and the works he left for others — most notably the great Dutch scientist, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723). It also features a facsimile of Hooke’s microscope, and is a companion to NLM’s latest Turning the Pages production, which offers a digital selection from Micrographia.